Following Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante’s announcement of a new 3,000-hectare park entitled Grand parc de l’Ouest (Grand Western Park) that will encompass various established green spaces such as Cap-Saint-Jacques, l’Anse-à-l’Orme and Rapides-du-Cheval-Blanc among others, the three developers of the proposed Cap Nature Pierrefonds West project put the city on notice.
Last week, they took it up a notch by suing the City of Montreal as well as the borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro for $178 million. The case is due to the fact that the new park will effectively end the proposed housing development that could have brought almost 6,000 new housing units to the area.
Plante will spend some $150 million to bring the mega park to fruition but the three developers, Développements Pierrefonds Inc, Les Immeubles L’Équerre Inc and Quartier de l’Ouest de l’Île, take issue as they see the move by the City of Montreal to create the new park as “disguised expropriation” since what the mayor has done is “to change the vocation of the land and essentially render it impossible for my clients to develop,” said the developers’ lawyer Ali Argun in a televised interview last week.
The developers contend that they want to be compensated for the last 14 years of trying to bring the project to life, only to have the city change its mind. In late August, as reported by The Suburban, they had sent a letter to the City of Montreal demanding a meeting to iron out the details, allowing them to proceed with the proposed project. The almost 400-hectare development would leave aside 180 hectares for green space conservation as well as building a third of the new buildings as low income housing, something that is much needed on the island.
When asked about the recent lawsuit, Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor Jim Beis said that “the borough is always looking at ways to preserve green spaces, but at what cost as the funding for these projects should come from other governmental sources as taxpayers cannot take a large tax hike to cover the amount.”
Beis also noted that the landowners for the Cap Nature Pierrefonds West project “were going to develope in a manner that made sense as it was going to be built in an ecological way.
“The urban boulevard was a condition so the new properties would not hold the community hostage in terms of increased traffic although right now, the City of Montreal has no plans to build the boulevard,” said Beis.
There will be two opportunities for West Island voters to get a chance to hear from the federal candidates coming up in early October with Meet The Candidates events being organized by the Montreal Lakeshore University Women’s Club (MLUWC) and the Table de Quartier Sud de l’Ouest-de-l’Île (TQSOI).
The first event is taking place on Monday, October 7th starting at 6:30 p.m. with a meet and greet followed by the political discourse slated for 7 p.m.
“I am proud to be moderating this great event, having presence from every party truly represents every West Islander,” said co-moderator Daniel Khoury. “We will be talking about the burning issues so register quickly as places are limited.”
The event is taking place at Karnak Shriners, 3350 Sources Boulevard in DDO and while the event is obviously free of charge, interested participants are being asked to register as space is limited. Registration can be done online via https://bit.ly/2lsujUR.
The candidates present will be Lac St. Louis incumbent Francis Scarpaleggia, Pierrefonds-Dollard Conservative candidate Mariam Ishak, Lac St. Louis NDP hopeful Dana Chevalier, Green Party Vaudreuil-Soulanges candidate Cameron Stiff as well as the PPC Party Lac St. Louis candidate Gary Charles.
There will be a range of topics covered including the economy and the recent West Island flooding. West Island Blog founder Rhonda Massad will be moderating along with Khoury.
The next evening, TQSOI is hosting an event from 7 to 9 p.m. at Beaconsfield’s Beaurepaire United Church and will again feature candidates from the Lac St. Louis riding where there will be a presentation from the candidates followed by a question and answer section.
“The objective is to put citizens in direct contact with their candidates so as to better inform their voting choices,” explained Alena Ziuleva, Executive Director of TQSOI.
“It is part of the TQSOI’s non-partisan initiative to communicate information about candidates to electors, as well as to provide candidates with information about the needs and priorities of citizens,” Ziuleva noted.